Learning Resources

Required Resources

  • Course Text: Heward, W. L. (2009). Exceptional children: An introduction to special education. London: Pearson Education, Ltd.
    • Prologue, (pp. 2–4)
    • Chapter 1, “The Purpose and Promise of Special Education” (pp. 9–15, 18–19, 22–23)
    • Chapter 14, “Early Childhood Special Education” (pp. 535–563)
  • Web Site: The Guidance Center Inc.

    “Early Childhood Services”

Optional Readings and Resources

Complexities Related to Labeling Children


In order to be eligible for special education services, federal law requires that children be labeled or classified. Florian and McLaughlin state,”Classification is a complex issue involving emotional, political, and ethical considerations in addition to scientific, fiscal, and educational interests” (Heward, 2009, p. 12).


Review the sections of your course text,”Why Do We Label and Classify Exceptional Children” (pp. 12–14) and the special feature, “Current Issue and Future Trends: What’s in a Name? The Labels and Language of Special Education” (pp. 14–15). Consider these questions as you read:


  • What are the reasons to and benefits of labeling or classifying children?
  • What are the drawbacks of labeling?
  • Should children ages 0–5 be exempt from labeling? Why or why not?

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3:

Based on the material that you have read, post your responses to the following questions:

  • What makes the practice of labeling children so complicated? Cite references from the text to support your views.
  • In your future work with children and families, how can you promote and model the importance of respecting every child as a unique individual?